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Feb 28

With kids in tow, Swiss Chalet’s the place to go!

Do the Swiss really eat this much chicken?
You can find them in the East, you can find them in the West
Of all the places we go, the girls seem to like it the best!
If you don’t eat things that cluck,
At Swiss Chalet, you’re out of luck
And as an adult, you can’t even plunder the Treasure Chest 😉

We don’t often venture so far East on a Friday evening but this particular day, we happened to be at Tenth Line and Innes Road picking up a friend. It was already almost 7:30 and Amber, Lara and Fayth were quickly getting to the point where it was necessary to fill their stomachs before too long. Now don’t get me wrong! I am not saying that they become unruly or obnoxious, since that is not the case. In fact, over the several years that the Supper Seven has been doing the Friday night get-together, I cannot think of a single time where they misbehaved or embarassed us in any way. Quite the reverse, they have developed a loyal following amongst the wait-staff in many of our more regular haunts. Nevertheless, even adults can become somewhat testy when deprived of sustenance for too long.
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So it was that we needed to find a locale where we knew that service would be speedy. Regular readers of these pages will likely know that we often frequent the Swiss Chalet located at Innes and Cyrville. It is a favourite with the girls because the staff are always friendly and attentive towards them and they genuinely seem to enjoy the food.

Where we went: Since we were right in the neighbourhood, we decided to give the Orleans location on Innes between 1th Line and Jeanne D’Arc Boulevard a try. Since we had just picked up our friend Shirley, we were now a group of eight and that is not easy to accommodate at short notice on a Friday evening in many establishments, but Swiss Chalet rarely requires a wait of more than a few minutes.

What we ordered: Surprise, surprise, seven out of eight ordered chicken is some shape or form. Norma was the only stand-out because she feels that she cooks and eats chicken all too often and so needs a break on Fridays. As is often the case, a special ‘table d’hôte’ was being offered that included soup or salad along with the usually quarter-chicken dinner as well as a slice of pie for dessert, all for $10.95 if my memory serves correctly. Dorothy wanted to order this provided that I would help out by eating the pie of which she is not overly fond. With great sacrifice, I acquiesced.
What we got: There are two things that would prevent me from giving this chain my whole-hearted endorsement. Firstly, whilst their chicken, in and of itself, might be a relatively healthy choice, by the time you add the standard side of fries along with the gravy, roll and butter, it is loaded with fats and starch and therefore extremely calorific. Many will be fooled into thinking that they are eating healthily, when in fact they are not. Secondly, over the last few visits, I have often been served a portion of chicken that has been overcooked. I even switched from my usual leg/thigh portion to white meat in the hope that it would be less well done. The pecan pie which I ate (only as a favour to Dorothy)  😉 was neither outstanding nor horrible.

Worthy of note: Any minor misgivings mentioned above are easily outweighed by the enjoyment that the girls get from going here. I don’t know how Swiss Chalet manages to always select staff who so obviously enjoy children but this was again the case. Although we had never been to this particular location before our server had fully ingratiated herself to the girls and they to her. Finally, although the Treasure Chest is no longer as replete with goodies as in former times, the girls still seem to enjoy rooting around in it and always seem to come up with something to amuse themselves.

Summary

  • Positives: Total consistency of experience from one location to another. Kid-friendly staff. Very moderate prices
  • Negatives: Although there are some healthy choices available, their standard fare would not be kind to those needing to watch their calorie intake!
  • Recommendation: If you need a quick, friendly and inexpensive place to eat, we can heartily recommend Swiss Chalet!
Category Rating Explanation
Food Quality *** Average
Price $$ moderate
Decor *** Good
Service **** Friendly
Overall Rating *** Fair to Good

Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill on Urbanspoon 


Frivolous Foodie Facts

Swiss Chalet is a chain of Canadian family restaurants originally founded in 1954 in Toronto, Ontario. As of 2008, there are over 200 Swiss Chalet restaurants in Canada and the United States. It is a division of Cara Operations, which also owns the hamburger chain Harvey’s; the two chains frequently share locations. The name Swiss Chalet originates from the design of its original restaurants, which featured exposed beam architecture in the Swiss chalet style.

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